Tiberius, then, as soon as he got past boyhood, was so widely known as to be thought worthy of a place among the priests called Augurs; and this was due to his virtues rather than to his excellent birth, as was clearly shown by Appius Claudius. For Appius, who had been consul and censor, had been made Dean of the Roman senate1
by virtue of his dignity, and in loftiness of spirit far surpassed his contemporaries, at a banquet of the augurs2
addressed Tiberius with words of friendship, and asked him to become the husband of his daughter.
Tiberius gladly accepted the invitation, and the betrothal was thus arranged, and when Appius returned home, from the doorway where he stood he called his wife and cried in a loud voice:
‘Antistia, I have betrothed our Claudia.’ And Antistia, in amazement, said:
‘Why so eager, or why so fast? If thou hadst only found Tiberius Gracchus for betrothal to her!’
I am aware that some3
refer this story to Tiberius the father of the Gracchi and Scipio Africanus Major, but the majority of writers tell it as I do, and Polybius says4
that after the death of Scipio Africanus the relatives of Cornelia chose out Tiberius in preference to all others and gave her to him, as one who had been left by her father unaffianced and unbetrothed.
The younger Tiberius, accordingly, serving in Africa under the younger Scipio,5
who had married his sister, and sharing his commander's tent, soon learned to understand that commander's nature (which produced many great incentives towards the emulation of virtue and its imitation in action), and soon led all the young men in discipline and bravery;
yes, he was first to scale the enemies' wall, as Fannius says, who writes also that he himself scaled the wall with Tiberius and shared in that exploit. While he remained with the army Tiberius was the object of much good will, and on leaving it he was greatly missed.